The Story of the Canal | The Origin of the Grand Canal-Yangzhou

  The Grand Canal in China runs through thousands of miles and thousands of years, which is an important symbol of Chinese civilization. The Yangzhou section of the ancient canal can be said to be the oldest section of the whole canal. A history of the development of Yangzhou Canal is almost a history of the development of ancient Yangzhou.

  North of Yangzhou, under the Golden Dam Bridge, the river flows quietly and flows into the ancient canal on the east side. On the south bank of the river, there is a tablet pavilion, and there is a big stone tablet in the middle, on which are written the three Chinese characters "Gu Han Gou". Some experts call the ancient Hangou "the origin of the growth of the Grand Canal in China". The digging of Han Gou opened the first shovel of China’s Grand Canal and made Yangzhou the birthplace of China’s Grand Canal.

  Jiang Shili, deputy director of the former Grand Canal Joint Heritage Application Office, said: "The ancient Han ditch is the earliest recorded section of the Grand Canal in China. It was in the Spring and Autumn Period, specifically in 486 BC. In order to compete with Qi in the north, Fu Cha, the king of Wu, opened a waterway between the Yangtze River and the Huaihe River. The historical record of this waterway is called Han ditch, which is a section of the earliest canal. What we now recognize is called this section. This 1.45 km section of Yangzhou City is one of the earliest river sections of Han Gou that we have identified. "

  After that, Emperor Yangdi dug the Grand Canal, taking Yangzhou as one of the central cities, and expanded, connected and extended it on the basis of Han ‘gou, which established Yangzhou’s unique position in the whole canal culture. Now, most of the canals in Yangzhou are in line with the ancient Han ‘gou route more than 2,000 years ago, and they are completely in line with the canals dug by Emperor Yangdi. The length from Guazhou to Bao should be 120 meters. Among them, the Yangzhou section of the ancient canal is about 30 kilometers long from Guazhou to Wantou, which constitutes the famous "Three Bays in Yangzhou". During the Sui and Tang Dynasties, Yangzhou was rich in the world because of the opening of the Grand Canal. Yangzhou in the Tang Dynasty was the most prosperous commercial city in China, the largest metropolis in the southeast, equivalent to the super-first-tier city of "Northern Guangzhou and Shenzhen" today, and this prosperity continued until the late Qing Dynasty. In addition, the Grand Canal has also brought rich heritage to Yangzhou. There are 10 heritage sites along the Yangzhou section listed as world cultural heritage, and many of these world heritage sites are directly related to salt merchants.

  Jiang Shili said: "The salt introduction system in the Qing Dynasty brought our salt merchants to gather in Yangzhou, so the salt merchants left a lot of legacy in Yangzhou. For example, Lu Shaoxu’s salt merchant residence is a big house for salt merchants, and there are many houses like this in Yangzhou, as well as various gardens."

  In the long years, Yangzhou city near the Grand Canal is like a magnet, attracting people from all over the world. With the vigorous protection of the ecology and culture of the Grand Canal in Jiangsu Province, the life of the people along the coast has become more and more moist. Shaobo Lake, next to the waterway of Yangzhou Canal, is an important water system of the Grand Canal. For hundreds of years, people living here almost always depend on fishing for a living. In the village along the Shao Bo Lake, the reporter met the villager Ma Changhao, who is 65 years old this year. In his memory, from his grandfather’s generation, he lived on the lake for generations. When he grew up, he naturally became a fisherman. Until 2014, when the Grand Canal was successfully applied for the World Heritage, Yangzhou City strengthened the protection of the Grand Canal and Shaobo Lake waters, and they settled ashore and ended the life of fishermen.

  Ma Chang, a villager from Yanhu Village, Fangxiang Town, Hanjiang District, Yangzhou City, said: "In the past, our family was a board boat, 6 or 7 meters long, with a shed on it. A family of two or three people slept in the cabin. If it was windy, the boat could not sleep when it was shaken. The fishing boats are all together at night, and when the wind is strong, the boats touch and sleep uneasily. "

  Ma Chang said that in the past, the whole family ate and drank Lazar on the boat, and life was very hard. In addition, all domestic sewage was directly discharged into the lake, which would cause great pollution to the lake. Now, after settling ashore, he and his son and family not only have a stable residence, but also rely on the resources of Shaobo Lake to start a farmhouse and run a homestay. In the village along the lake, many villagers have also started catering, farmhouse music and other businesses after landing, and their lives are getting more and more prosperous.

  Ma Mingkai, a villager, told the reporter: "When I used to be a fisherman, my annual income was about 50,000 yuan. Now, after we get to the shore, we engage in catering, and our annual income is about 100,000 yuan."

  In recent years, the water quality in Shaobo Lake has been getting better and better with the transformation of fishermen ashore and the government’s management of the lake.

  Yan Guoqing, the village head, said: "Shaobo Lake is near the ancient canal, and the main intention of its future development is to develop into tourism."

  At present, Yangzhou has planned to repair and protect 10 heritage sites and 6 sections of rivers, as well as ancient towns, ancient gates, ancient dams, ancient docks and ancient houses. On the basis of doing a good job in the protection of cultural relics, Yangzhou promulgated and implemented the protection plan for the Yangzhou section of the Grand Canal, formulated normative documents for the protection of the Grand Canal, and established a digital management platform and a heritage monitoring and early warning system. Yangzhou has also set up a volunteer team to protect the Grand Canal heritage, so that everyone can protect this mother river. Focusing on building a green corridor along the canal, Yangzhou took the lead in planning and building a 1,800-square-kilometer Jianghuai ecological corridor in the province, implementing legislative protection for key ecologically sensitive areas and permanent green spaces, and launching 27 key ecological construction and environmental governance projects with a total investment of 6.2 billion yuan, thus building a strong ecological security barrier for the Grand Canal.

  For more exciting content, please pay attention to the "Zero Distance" column broadcast by Jiangsu City Channel at 18:20 tonight, and cable TV Channel 27 in Nanjing.

  (Source: JiangsucityChannel/Mika Editor/Bessie)